Monday, August 22, 2005

Pork Barrels in NJ's Executive Branch

The intrepid Joe Malchow is providing excellent commentary on how New Jersey is distributing its state-wide money for homeland security improvements. The short answer: along political lines.

The lowdown on the state funds boondoggle: the districts in question are state legislative districts. New Jersey has forty of them. Each elects one senator and two assemblymen. By a simple majority makeup of these three offices, 17 districts are controlled by Republicans and 23 by Democrats. 58% of districts are thus Democratic, while 93% of homeland security funding is going to Democrat districts.

Read these two posts for more. What is surprising is that there is not more evidence of this type of behavior within executive branches around the country, given the amount of control legislatures have ceded to them in disbursing funds.

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Mel Slabaugh said...
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tweedledeetweedledum said...
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AMcGuinn said...

There's a possible innocent explanation: I understand that the general pattern in the US is that urban areas tend to be more Democrat and rural areas more Republican. Potential terrorist targets (at least civilian ones) are more likely to be in urban districts than rural ones.

Of course the question of whether rural taxpayers should pay to protect cities doesn't go away, but it becomes a lot more complicated than simple corruption.

Andrew Samwick said...

I'd like to find the more innocent explanation, too. The share of the population that is urban should be relevant, but that's why Joe's example within a single county is so intriguing. Quoting from his post:

"Mine Hill was the only municipality in Morris County to win state homeland security funding this year. Not a dollar was approved out of the total $3,884,348 requested by 31 other municipalities around the county.

"The common factor between the rejected municipalities: All governing bodies are dominated by Republicans. Mine Hill, however, has a majority of Democrats on its Township Council, including a Democratic mayor." said...


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